AFP: The US Treasury Department on Wednesday hit Iran’s Mahan Air with sanctions, saying it secretly transported members of a military force accused of plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador on US soil.
WASHINGTON, October 12, 2011 (AFP) – The US Treasury Department on Wednesday hit Iran’s Mahan Air with sanctions, saying it secretly transported members of a military force accused of plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador on US soil.
The Treasury Department said commercial carrier Mahan Air transported members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp-Qods Force — a force directly linked to the plot — and Hezbollah across the Middle East.
Any of the airline’s assets in the United States will now be frozen and US citizens will be barred from doing business with the firm.
The announcement came a day after Washington leveled the accusations at Tehran and the Treasury Department moved to block the assets of five individuals directly linked to the alleged assassination plot, which has sent diplomatic shockwaves around the world.
The Treasury Department accused Mahan Air of ferrying Iranian operatives between Iran and Syria for military training and Revolutionary Guards officers in and out of Iraq, and of transporting members of Lebanon-based Hezbollah — which the US deems a terrorist organization.
“Mahan Air’s close coordination with the IRGC-QF — secretly ferrying operatives, weapons and funds on its flights — reveals yet another facet of the IRGC’s extensive infiltration of Iran’s commercial sector to facilitate its support for terrorism,” said the Treasury’s sanctions czar David Cohen.
“Following the revelation about the IRGC-QF’s use of the international financial system to fund its murder-for-hire plot, today’s action highlights further the undeniable risks of doing business with Iran.